‘I am proud to be a part of the club’s history’

Aridane wins ‘POTM’ for February; speaks about HFC, this season in the ISL and more…

Hyderabad FC may have missed out on the play-offs at the end of an impressive season, but they have a lot of positives to take from an Indian Super League campaign, in which they introduced themselves as entertainers to the whole country.

While there were consistent performances from every player that Manolo Marquez trusted, one player, whose importance cannot be overstated is skipper Aridane Santana. The No. 9 signed for Hyderabad FC before the start of the season and quickly turned into a crucial figure for the club, on and off the field.

The month of February, which was crucial for Hyderabad in their run to qualification, saw Aridane step-up his game. The Spaniard registered three goals and an assist in just four games, also creating four chances. So, it was no surprise that the captain was named the ‘Player of the Month’ for February.

“I am proud to be a part of the club and to making history with it is a really important moment for me,” said Aridane, speaking after winning the award.

“But I believe that the fighting spirit of my team and their ambition to improve every day made me a better player and I would like to thank them for a memorable campaign,” he added.

Aridane’s contribution without the ball was just as important for Hyderabad. He put in 11 tackles, five interceptions and won over 50% of aerial duels in the defensive third, often acting as the first line of defense on several occasions. The skipper also leads the list for shots taken, fouls made and aerial duels won for Hyderabad FC, and he was a big miss in the crucial, final league game against FC Goa.

The 33-year old scored Hyderabad’s first goal of the season, against Odisha FC, to help them to a 1-0 victory and has since turned into the top goal scorer for the club, with 10 goals to his name this campaign. He has two assists to his name as well, and 5 of those 12 goal contributions directly led to Hyderabad winning a total of 10 points this season.

At the end of the league stage, our No. 9 was the highest-rated player in the ISL’s ‘Player Ratings’, even after missing a couple of games as well. However, Aridane believes that the growth of the team was as important to him as his individual stats.

“I am happy with the ISL season but what was more important was that I could help my team improve, in every training session and in every game. We have a really committed group, who are ready to learn every day and that is what made this season a special one,” concluded Aridane.

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